MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Advocates for sex trafficking victims worry federal legislation could hurt their efforts

House Bill 1865 is the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. Proponents of FOSTA say it makes it easier for prosecutors to pursue legal action against websites hosting prostitution ads.

House lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday aimed at cracking down on online sex trafficking, but not everyone thinks it is a good idea.

House Bill 1865 is the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. Proponents of FOSTA say it makes it easier for prosecutors to pursue legal action against websites hosting prostitution ads.

However, opponents, say it could have some negative side effects.

"It's really controversial. It's not going to fix the problem," said Diana Janz, founder of Hope Ranch Ministries. The nonprofit rescues victims of sex trafficking in Lane County.

Janz said FOSTA would actually drive traffickers to underground websites, making it harder for law enforcement to do their job.

"They actually like it when it's there on legitimate sites because it helps them find people and it helps them to protect people that are in danger," Janz said. "Yes, bad things happen. But bad things are going to happen whether they are there or somewhere else."

Janz said she has personally found a victim from Eugene on an online advertisement.

"I found her, found a phone number, gave it to the proper officials, and they found her. And rescued her," Janz said.

Internet companies like Facebook have backed the bill. Others say it would open up lawsuits for third party material that was posted without internet companies knowing.

Janz said the real solution is to crack down on those who are paying for sex, a crime that she says is increasingly shifting to the internet.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending